The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.
Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.
In Hawaii the word hānai means to adopt someone into your family. The most beautiful thing about it is that hānai is practically a way of life here on Kauai. Every day I am amazed by how freely folks go out of their way to help one another, how generously they give without expecting anything in return.
Whatever our day has in store for us, we try to practice this in small ways so that the boys wholeheartedly understand the value of how interconnected we all are.
We roll out of bed and Kahlo clearly remembers his request from last night--a family hike in the morning. He is disappointed when we break the news that the weekend's heavy rains make it a difficult request to fill.
On the way into town to do our weekly shopping we pull over at a spot alongside the highway we've been curious about for some time. The detour becomes a compromise, a family stroll down a muddy yet majestic service road.
Spontaneous gestures can transform everyday experiences into magical ones.
We weave our way through the aisles of the store, smiling at many familiar faces and greeting friends with open arms. We also collect extra ingredients here and there in preparation for the meals and treats we'll share with others.
When you prepare to share, you don't have an excuse not to.
By the time we hit store number three, the boys and I are beat. We decide to have some quiet reading time in the truck while Papa runs in for the last few things.
Right before we leave Kahlo calls for my attention "Mama look what the tree gave me for you!" Beaming, he presents me with a tiny flower that the wind blew in from a nearby tree. Tamayo chimes in, as he does several times a day, "love you mama." My heart skips a beat, I admire how effortlessly these two are delighted with the ways of the world. The engine starts and the boys fall asleep within minutes.
Let the universe remind you of the goodness that surrounds you.
At least once a week we try to make something together to surprise others with. Last week Kahlo's class was studying corn so we made cornbread to share.
This week we have an abundance of ripe apple bananas. The boys are eager to make banana chocolate chip muffins for their 14 year old babysitter and her family. Baking with baby in the back carry for the win!
Make a habit of doing nice things for others just because.
Finally, we like to end one week and transition into a new one with a sunset frolic. We head West to the end of the highway, bounce five miles down a dirt road, then glide across the dunes. The sand is soft between our toes and the water is warm.
Tonight it's just the four of us, but this beach is a special place where we've shared many memories with friends old and new. Before we head out with the last sliver of light we collect both treasures and rubbish. Eventually even our footprints disappear, leaving behind only ripples of sand and rolling waves.
Soak up the magic of shared spaces with all of your senses and take care of them as if they were your own home.
Here on an island in the middle of the Pacific, you just may come home to a basket of excess produce from a neighbor's garden or be surprised with freshly caught fish from a friend. Tools are shared. Clothing and toys are exchanged. There's always room for one more in the back of the truck. And children are raised by everyone--because here on Kauai, family transcends bloodlines and hānai is practically a way of life.
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